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hokkaido highway blues - w ferguson
by: liquidindian 08 february 05
To think of Japan brings forth several clichés for the westerner: most likely the image of a polite and reserved people, who watch hyper-kinetic lurid neon animation and amuse us with their mangled English. An entertaining book could easily be written on this side of their culture, in the same way as entire television programmes have been made by threading together clips of Japanese people falling over on bizarre game shows for our entertainment. But thinking about it, would we like to be judged on a typical channel surf through Saturday night television in this country? Will Ferguson's book is an attempt to understand Japan on a deeper level - as much as a westerner possibly can - by hitchhiking his way from the southernmost point to the most northerly island. Wisely relegating his original gimmick of following the cherry blossoms in favour of the people he meets and the places he visits, his book makes for a less frivolous book than the likes of 'Are You Dave Gorman?' but is just as entertaining. Hokkiado Highway Blues is better compared with the likes of Bill Bryson, with the author offering insight, as well as entertaining anecdotes.
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